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“I had no idea what to expect of these short stories, which are described by one blurb-er as a "love child" of Mother Goose and Philip K. Dick. Exciting! Then I saw that Jack Zipes was one of the blurb-ers (is there a better, more official name?) and I was sold. (I should add I'm rarely swayed...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Uncanny beautiful understated stories about life's most important moments and emotions.”Sara Lissa Librarian wrote this review Friday, July 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Allegories can provide great pleasure, but at the same time, they can also be very frustrating. Loory keeps his reader flipping the pages, yet certain stories leave one with a feeling that certain stories were not given the care and attention they deserved because they were so good to dance with only to have it end too soon, leaving the reader with the thought as to why Loory did not transform such a wonderful story in longer shorter story, beyond the allegorical shorts he did, to an extended metaphorical short story. Although while many of the stories were pleasing to be with, many of them felt gimmicky somehow as if Loory was pulling a literary con-job on the reader and seeking to make the reader confused enough to think that as a reader, one is not sophisticated enough to understand the story, or as a sophisticated reader, one is too smart to let Loory's grab for the money fool one's well-read sensibilities. I loved the book at moment and despised it the next. I feel uncertain about Loory's motivations, meaning I am uncertain if he is laughing his way to the monetary fame-granting bank or simply talented as a writer. My ambivalence remains, yet I don't regret reading it, but another part of me regrets buying it at full price...
although I see myself reading it again... oh well. The book has an effect. This is certain. ”
“These stories were erie and mysterious, I couldn't get enough. ”Jessica A wrote this review Monday, March 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A collection of short stories. My favourite is the first short story. I don't know how to explain it but I find the ending really heartwarming. Some of the short stories in the book are a bit weird but nonetheless it's a good book to read before your bedtimes ”nadia i wrote this review Saturday, October 22, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I absolutely love Ben Loory! His stories are interesting, fun, serious, thought provoking, short, sweet, and at times sad. I love reading them, and have shared them with friends. I highly recommend reading this book if you have an imagination and spirited heart, or if you want them. ”Bear Warrior wrote this review Sunday, December 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Once there was a man who was afraid of his shadow.
Then he met it.
Now he glows in the dark.
Ben Loory's Stories for the Nighttime and Some for the Day is the kind of book that is deceptively simplistic. The short short story above is just that, a three-sentence story. Its meaning? That's a whole other matter. For each of the 40 stories in this collection, there is no neat "moral of the story." These are grown-up fables, maximizing the complicated weirdness of life in general.
There is a Twilight Zone quality to them (in fact, Loory mentions this in an interview on Poof Books), lending them an unreality while also burning the irony and the bizarre into your mind: a walking tree who is gated to showcase its abilities, only to have the tree's roots dig so deeply it cannot move. A house on a cliff that yearns to be friendly with the sea rushing past it. A man who turns on his TV only to watch his own life being played out - a life he is no longer really living. An octopus who lives on land but misses his family.
Stories for the Nighttime and Some for the Day is ethereal in the telling but gritty in the details - the symmetry and cruelty of nature is a strong theme, as is the futility of fighting against it. These are not bedtimes stories to read to your child (not that they are intended to be), but I did find them to be calming and structurally interesting, and I read a few before bed each night last week.
One of my favorite moments in the book is the one I'll leave you with today, the ending of "The House on the Cliff and the Sea":
And now, today, the two are together. They wander the world as one. They eat cakes and scones and lots of fish, and every now and then some coconuts.
The sea doesn't care much for the land anymore, but sometimes they drift on by. And the house smiles and waves at its friends on the shore, and then they drift some more.
At night, the sea lies there and listens to the house creaking gently as it floats, and tries to remember that it now has a new name.
A house on the sea is a boat.
The Picky Girl
“I had no idea what to expect of these short stories, which are described by one blurb-er as a "love child" of Mother Goose and Philip K. Dick. Exciting! Then I saw that Jack Zipes was one of the blurb-ers (is there a better, more official name?) and I was sold. (I should add I'm rarely swayed by blurbs, too, but I'm a sucker for Zipes!)
All this is to say that by the time I cracked open this book, I was expecting something a bit odd, very inventive, and quite quirky. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. This collection of forty stories tackles the everyday in the most extraordinary manner. There's a deceptive childishness to the stories, like listening to a toddler weaving a narrative together -- but by the time you get to the end of the tale, you find a hint of humor or horror or tenderness that is unexpected and wholly mature.
I shivered, I laughed, I gasped, and I sniffed. Loory's briefest stories stung and delighted me, and I couldn't decide if I wanted to pause after each one to mull or plunge on for another guaranteed surprise. Immediately upon finishing I made my wife read this (I literally had her reading in the movie theater while we waited for Cowboys & Aliens to start), and I've kept my copy in my purse so I can share my favorite stories with anyone who has five minutes to spare.
“I am not usually a fan of short stories but when I heard about this book, I knew I had to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. Stories for Nightime and Some for the Day is a fun, kooky, entertaining collection of short stories.
So of the stories I liked better than others. For example: The Book, a story that teaches you to use your imagination. The Octopus, a story that shows you that you can always return home. Also there was the story, The End of It All, about a husband and a wife, where the wife is taken by an alien. The man searches all over to find her to no end. Though, the man never finds his wife, he would not trade anything in the world for the time that he did get to spend with her. Of course, there were some stories that I did not like as well. Than there were the dark stories. Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day has a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy. Don’t be fooled by the title of this collection of stories and the stories can be read any time of the day or night. I plan to check out more of Mr. Ben Loory’s work.
“Ben Loory's collection of short stories is, surprisingly, accurately portrayed by the cover. As much as I depend on them (old adages be damned), they often lie, depicting some scene or person never to occur or exist within the novel. The ocean, the spaceship and the octopus tentacle are all main aspects of at least one story. Let me also say that I love the cover, from the art to the texture of it. I also like the texture of the paper within (which does the old timey thing where some pages stick out more than others) and the flaps built into the trade paperback. This book is an excellent tactile experience.
Even before reading the first story, I was charmed by Loory, whose author's note reads: "Here are some stories. I hope you like them." So simple, but completely perfect, because that's what I, as a reader just starting into the book, precisely hope to do. So, you may wonder, did I like the stories? For the most part, yes. The stories are all very short and the writing is deceptively simple. In very few of the stories did I feel like I had a good grasp on what exactly was going on.
Most of the stories are left very open-ended, almost as though the stories are as much about you as they are about the characters in them. This point is borne out by the fact that the characters generally do not have names, referred to only as boy, girl, man, woman, friend, etc. In fact, if I remember correctly, the only characters who receive names are animals: the octopus family in "The Octopus" (along with their likely human landlord, who may be the only human with a name) and the moose (who receives a moniker) "The Man and the Moose." I am not quite sure what to make of this, but it's definitely intriguing.
The universality of the characters combined with the fantasy/magic elements made the stories feel like modern fairy tales or fables or urban legends. The magic was pervasive, subtle and a part of the regular world, which reminded me, in an odd way, of Sarah Addison Allen's novels. Where hers feature a sweet, happy magic, Loory's magic is generally that of something dark and dangerous, although some of the stories included are cute ones (which I fancy are the ones for the day). As an example of what reading the stories is like, I am going to share the shortest story with you.
"Once there was a man who was afraid of his shadow.
Then he met it.
Now he glows in the dark."
Without a doubt, Stories for the Nighttime and some for the day is an interesting read and exceedingly thought-provoking. Every story really is like the one above, in that the meaning is rather unclear and it's up to you to suss it out. I think this would be an excellent title for a book group, as everyone could share their impressions and analyze the themes running through all of the stories to get at the project's aims as a whole. I hope to see more from Ben Loory, especially what kind of a novel he would write.